Content writing for small business: 5 unusual tips to help you get started
Even if you enjoy writing content for your small business, it doesn’t mean you always feel confident about the process – or know where to start. And it’s easy to get stuck in a content writing rut, where everything starts to sound a bit same-same. We often double down on what works but forget to stick our heads up, look around and think strategically about our audience.
If you’re ready to shake up your approach to content creation, here are five unusual tips that will breathe new life into your content writing process – and get you excited about hitting ‘publish’. These five unconventional tips will help you overcome any content writing hurdles and infuse your writing with creativity, captivate your audience, and help your business stand out. Let’s dive in!
#1 Unearth your unique angles or stories
Instead of focusing just on your services, dig deeper to find unique angles to approach your content. Think about the stories, experiences or processes that make you and your small business special and different to others.
Ask yourself the following questions to identify some hidden gems:
What inspired me to start this business?
Reflect on the initial spark that started your small biz journey. Was there a personal experience, a problem you came up against or a passion that helped bring your small business to life? The answer to this question is uniquely yours and something an AI tool can’t write on your behalf – it comes from the heart. Exploring your origin story and your why can help you write authentic and engaging content in places like your About page, bio, social media and newsletter content.
What challenges have I overcome?
Every small business faces challenges along the way. Rather than shying away from these experiences, they can become powerful stories to share with your audience. Consider the obstacles you’ve encountered and dealt with, the lessons you’ve learned and the strategies you’ve implemented that have made a difference. Sharing honestly can inspire connection with others in an incredibly meaningful way.
What interesting behind-the-scenes moments or processes can I share?
Peel back the curtain and take your audience behind the scenes of your business. You could share your creative processes, along with day-to-day moments like glimpses of your workspace or daily rituals. Going behind the scenes brings a personal and relatable touch to your content and helps your audience get to know you better – the first step in ‘know, like, trust’.
#2 Leverage user-generated content
You may not have considered this before, but there are loads of ways your audience can contribute to your content creation. Consider case studies or client stories you’ve read on websites or in newsletters, or testimonials you’ve seen on social media. User-generated content provides a fresh perspective and builds a sense of community, while also offering valuable social proof. It probably goes without saying but make sure you get permission from your audience before featuring their content and always give proper credit.
Here’s how you can leverage user-generated content as part of your content strategy:
Client stories and testimonials:
Encourage your clients to share their success stories or experiences with your services. You can feature these stories on your website as dedicated client story spotlights or even create a video series. Newsletters are also a great place to showcase this kind of content. These authentic stories serve as powerful social proof, demonstrating the value and impact of your offerings. All you need to do is ask.
User-submitted tips and tricks:
Invite your clients or customers to share their tips and tricks for getting the most out of your services. You could write blogs or guides, or create infographics or video tutorials featuring these user-submitted insights. Not only does this highlight the expertise of those who’ve bought from you and keep them engaged, but it also provides valuable and super practical content that benefits your wider audience.
Collaborative content creation:
Take collaboration a step further by involving your clients in the content creation process. You could invite them to contribute guest blog posts, co-create videos or podcasts, or participate in interviews. This helps to diversify your content but also strengthens the bond between your brand and your community, fostering a sense of ownership and loyalty. If you’re anything like me, a natural responder, you may notice the conversational element of co-created content sparks loads of fresh ideas.
#3 Experiment with different formats
There’s so much more to content creation than just writing social media posts, blogs or newsletters. Consider creating videos, podcasts or hosting live Q&A sessions on social media. Experiment with guest blogging or collaborating with others in your industry. Trying out different formats helps you to reach a wider audience, and discover what resonates best. It also keeps your content strategy dynamic and helps you stay engaged with it. Make sure you monitor engagement metrics, gather feedback and then adapt your content strategy accordingly.
Here’s how you can explore different formats to keep your content fresh and exciting:
Create informative or instructional videos related to your industry or specific topics of interest to your audience. For example, you could create demonstration videos, tutorial videos or behind-the-scenes videos showcasing your business operations. Share these videos on your website, social media channels or video platforms like YouTube to engage your audience visually.
Start a podcast where you discuss industry trends, share insights, interview experts or answer frequently asked questions. The audio format lets you connect with your audience in a more conversational and personal way. You can also explore opportunities to be a guest on others’ podcasts or even co-host an episode, sharing your expertise and engaging with a new audience.
Live Q&A sessions:
Host live Q&A sessions on social media platforms like Instagram or Facebook. Announce the session in advance and invite your audience to submit any questions beforehand. During the live session, you can respond to these questions in real-time, providing valuable insights and building a direct connection with your audience. Make sure you save the session and repost it, so those who missed it can still benefit from the information.
#4 Collaborate with complementary businesses
Expand your content writing opportunities by teaming up with other small businesses that complement yours. Seek out like-minded folk in related industries and propose collaboration or partnership opportunities. Co-create content, exchange guest blog posts or host joint webinars or podcasts. When collaborating with other small businesses, it’s important to find partners whose values, audience and industry align with yours. By leveraging each other’s strengths and resources, you can create valuable and diverse content, reach new audiences and establish mutually beneficial – as opposed to one-sided – relationships.
Here’s how you can collaborate with other small businesses:
Partner with a complementary small business to co-create content that combines the expertise and perspectives of both businesses. For example, if you’re a brand photographer, you could collaborate with a stylist to create a blog series, guide or checklist on preparing for a photoshoot. If you’re a wellness practitioner, you could partner with a complementary practitioner e.g. a massage therapist and a counsellor, or an exercise therapist and a nutritionist. The idea is that each business contributes knowledge, tips and insights, providing a well-rounded resource for your aligned audiences.
Collaborate with industry experts or complementary businesses by inviting them to write guest blogs for your website. This not only brings some fresh, varied expertise to your audience but also expands your reach as the guest contributor promotes the content to their own followers. In the same way, consider guest blogging on other relevant websites to tap into new audiences and establish your authority.
Joint webinars or workshops:
Host a joint webinar or workshop with another small business owner in a related field. Choose a topic that’s relevant to both of your audiences and plan a collaborative session where you can share insights, tips and actionable strategies. This provides valuable content but also exposes you both to each other’s followers, expanding your reach and building credibility.
#5 Dive into niche communities
To stand out in a crowded digital landscape, explore niche communities relevant to your industry. Seek out forums, online groups or communities where your target audience congregates. Actively participate in discussions, offer valuable insights and establish yourself as a trusted expert. Immersing yourself in these communities provides a deeper understanding of your audience’s needs, concerns and preferences, meaning you can create truly resonant content.
Here’s how you can establish yourself as a trusted expert in niche communities:
Join industry-specific forums:
Identify forums or discussion boards relevant to your industry where your target audience actively engages. For instance, if you’re a marketer, you could join a forum where both other marketers and small business owners discuss marketing. Participate in discussions, offer valuable advice, answer questions and share your expertise. This helps establish your credibility and positions you as a knowledgeable resource within the community.
Engage in online groups:
Look for online groups or communities on platforms like Facebook or LinkedIn that cater to your industry or niche. For example, if you are a career coach, join groups where members discuss job searching, career change, the future of work and other relevant topics. Share your insights, provide helpful tips and contribute to discussions. This demonstrates your expertise and builds rapport with potential clients.
Create valuable content for niche blogs:
Seek out influential niche blogs or websites in your industry and offer to contribute guest articles or write guest blogs. Craft high-quality content that provides valuable information, tips or industry insights. This helps you reach a wider audience and establishes you as an authority within your industry.
Here’s a final recap of those five unusual tips for getting started with content writing for your small business.
- Unearth your unique angles or stories
- Leverage user-generated content
- Experiment with different formats
- Collaborate with complementary businesses
- Dive into niche communities.
Over to you
Enjoy experimenting with these five unusual tips as you create content for your small business. Which tip resonated with you? Let me know. Want a community around you while you write your small business content? That’s what my membership Not Just About Copy: The Community is for.